EC President Charles Michel will host a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Armenia and Russia accuse Azerbaijan of violating the Russian-mediated ceasefire that ended the region’s war. Armenia’s security council claimed that Azerbaijan is preparing for an attack on the region and warned of a potential humanitarian disaster after natural gas supplies were cut off last month for several days.
Amid the invasion of Ukraine, Azerbaijan has benefitted from Russia’s absence in the South Caucasus by pressuring Armenia into signing a peace deal, which would likely include delimiting the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and demining the territories retaken by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan and its primary ally, Turkey, are interested in gaining access to the Armenian territory for transit.
In return, Azerbaijan has offered to mutually recognize the territorial integrity of both countries, meaning that Armenia would acknowledge Azerbaijani territory over Karabakh. Azerbaijan would also likely offer special cultural rights for Armenians in the region.
The EU relies on Azerbaijan for its energy resources and gas exports and hopes to establish peace and stability through negotiations and humanitarian aid, while balancing against Russia’s influence in the region.
Madeline McQuillan is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a contributor to the Daily Brief. Her expertise is in European politics and transatlantic relations, and she’ll be pursuing a Master’s in European and International Public Policy at the London School of Economics starting in Fall 2022.